Loess Hills region earns coveted wine country designation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Loess Hills region earns coveted wine country designation

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(AP) -

Mention domestic wine, and most people think Napa Valley or Sonoma.

But Iowa's Loess Hills?

The federal designation is coveted by grape growers and not easy to get.

Doug Grave is president of the Western Iowa Grape Growers association and co-owner of Bodega Victoriana Winery near Glenwood. He says the association undertook a five-year, $50,000 effort to get the designation.

The money went to soil scientists, geologists, map makers, climate scientists and other experts to show the area is the only one in the U.S. where the entire grape vine's root is completely encompassed in loess soil.

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